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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 20, 2016 11:37pm-12:07am CST

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the urgency of life this is "nightline." >> tonight, behind "making a murderer" with the strange saga of steven avery consuming so many americans we traveled to wisconsin where the story played out. avery wrongfully convicted of rape only to be later charged with murder. >> i didn't do it, i'm innocent. >> our investigation leading us to the main players in the case. the defense attorney now an internet star. >> i want him out of prison. >> the prosecutor who many now see as a villain. >> i hope your daughter gets raped. >> his life turned upside down. we know you the evidence the makers of this controversial netflix documentary left out. >> wake up, netflix! also tonight, one on one with director spike lee, opening up about the oscar uproar, growing anger about the lack of diversity in the nominations. will smith speaking out as well. >> that's not the hollywood that you want to leave behind. first the "nightline 5."
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seconds. good evening. perhaps not since the o.j. trial has america been so fixated on a criminal case. the new netflix documentary series "making a murderer" has millions of us dissecting and debating the bizarre story of steven avery.
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to the place where it all unfolded to meet the central players and examine the evidence the documentary left out. here in this tiny frozen over speck on the map the scene of a crime that has become a national obsession. >> now to a hot trend ticking over tv -- >> a netflix do you want tear series captivated the nation -- >> reporter: "making the rderer" explores the strange odyssey of steven avery, 2007 sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of a 25-year-old woman. in the four weeks since the series was released a frenzy of binge watching fueling conspiracy theories and outrage. both among those who think avery was wrongly convicted, framed even, and those who think the documentary is at best misleading. >> wake up, netflix! >> reporter: i come to machlt anitua county, wisconsin. >> after having absorbed ten hours of this story, to be here
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>>&reporter: to see if i can wrap my head around the mystery at the heart of this saga, is steven avery a killer? the documentary begins in 2003. steven avery had just been released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn't commit. >> i'm just glad you're home, honey. >> reporter: exonerated byy dna evidence. then two years later, justt as avery is in the middle of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the authorities who put him away, those very same authorities charge him with murder. >> i didn't do it, i'm innocent. >> reporter: the once-celebrated face of wrongful convictions now accused of killing and dismembering teresa hallback, a young photographer who had come to the avery family scrap yard to take pictures of a vehicle he was selling. her charred remains found near avery's trailer. it's hard enough going to prison for something you didn't do, then you got to do it all over again?
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the attention of two aspiring filmmakers, moira demos and laura richardi, who packed and up moved to wisconsin. >> we were there because we wanted to ask bigger questions about the system. >> is it guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, is the process fair, can we trust t t veveict? >> reporter: they devoteded decade to the project, gaining extraordinary access t tthe main players, from avery who spoke to them by phone from jail -- >> they wouldn't look at nobody else. they're paying all their attention to me. >> reporter: to his family waiting on the outside. >> they don't care. they'll take an innocent man and make him guilty and that's what they're doing right now. >> reporter: to avery's defense team who argued that their client was being railroaded, alleging that the local sheriffs, furious about avery's lawsuit, framedd him. >> how many times will steven avery be charged with rapes he didn't commit?
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capture key moments. >> this is a red letter day for the defense. >> reporter: when avery's attorneys discover a vial of their client's blood, evidence from his first wrongful conviction, appears to have been tampered with. >> some officer went into that file, took a sample of steven of ary's blood, and planted it. >> reporter: also in the film we see that t t lawyers believe the police planted somomhing else. the key to teresa hallback's toyota. >> when you came into that bedroom the first time, there was no key on the floor, was there? >> that's correct. >> reporter: it wasn't discovered until the seventh search of avery's bedroom. and it just so happened to have been found by two members of the local sheriff's department who had recently been deposed in avery's civil lawsuit. as you sit here today, all these years later, doo you still believe e e department or members of department framed steven avery? >> i'm still left with real reason to suspect that. >> reporter: "making a murderer" transformed avery's former
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and emotional dean strang, into a digital-age folk hero. >> redemption will have to wait as it often does in human affairs. >> reporter: we met him in his office where he said the case still troubles him nine years later. >> i want him out of prison. i really am haunted by the concern that he's sitting there innocent. >> reporter: in stark opposition to strang, some on the internet have identified a villain, the man who put avery away. prwsecutor ken kratz. when we arrived he showed us nasty e-mails -- >> i hope your daughter gets raped and murdered. >> reporter: and threatening voice mails. >> i'm going to do everything in my power to free steve avery, then i'm coming after you. >> reporter: kratz blames the filmmakers. >> this is not a documentary at all. it's still a defense advocacy piece of what they pick and choose, causes only one reaction and only one conclusion, that mr. avery was innocent. >> reporter: kratz points out
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against avery. hallback's remains and her car both found on hisproperty. and avery's dna found on that key which kratz says was only discovered on the seventh search because that's when it fell out of the back of this bookshelf. kratat also points outut the jurur rejected the framing dedense. >>e the jury find the defendant, stephen a. avery, guilty of first degree intentional homicide. >> reporter: in part because they saw vital pieces of evidence the documentarians excluded, including that steven avery's dna from sweat was also found on the hood latch of teresa hallback's rav 4. >> why ishat important? because you can't plant, first of all, sweat. how do you leave that out of the docucuntary? >> if his hand was there, why didn't you find fingerprints? >> they're looking for dna. that's what was looked for and that's what they found. >> they didn't look for fingerprints? >> i don't know. >> i would imagine it would be
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you're alleging that he drove this vehicle and hid it. i would imagine his fingerprints would be all over the thing. >> they might have. i don't have the case file. >> reporter: according to krat s kratz, perhapspshe most damning omission in the series, avery made three calls to hallback the day she went missing and also requested her by name to come photograph the van he was selling. >> steven of aavery did not just come upon teresa hallback by accident. he targeted her. >> if as you say avery was targeting teresa hallback, why would he call and specifically request her? wouldn't that just be a trail right back to him? >> he believed, at least my theory , that using a different name and a different phone number was good enough. >> that would require him to be pretty stupid. >> okay. >> reporter: we ran kratz's
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>> his argument that is you left out some key things. and that in the end, it was pro-steven avery misrepresentation. >> i disagree. >> it would be impossible for us to include all of the evidence that was presented at trial. that's called a trial. what we made was a documentary. kratz himself later said that he presented a circumstantial forensic science case and that's what we tried to show in the documentary. he did not have direct evidence of steven avery's guilt. i'm sure if he did he would have used it. >> reporter: sometimes lost in the uproar over the avery case, that he was not the only one convicted for the murder of teresa hallback. his 16-year-old nephew was also sent to prison, in part because of what he told police. >> who shot her in the head? >> he did. >> why didn't you tell us that? >> i couldn't think of it.
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the controversial confession up next. and the surprising twist that landed the winning prosecutor back in the headlines. us our investigation leads uss down t tt dead-end road. >> that's an avery -- >> reporter: when "nightline" returns. speed... no one way of driving on each and every road. but there is one car that can conquer them all. the mercedes-benz c-class. five driving modes let you customize the steering, shift points, and suspension to fit the mood you're in... and the road you're on. the 2016 c-class. lease the c300 for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. guys, it's just the two of you. the setting is just right. there's something in the air. but here's thehing: about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed
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be honest. you went back into that room. we know you were back there. >> reporter: for somom viewersrs of the netflix documentary series "making a murderer" this is the most infuriating part of the story. >> brandon, were you there when this happened? >> no. >> okay. was she dead there then or not? >> yeah. >> how do you know that? >> reporter: brandon dacey, steven avery's 16-year-old nephew then, admitting he helped his uncle kill teresa halbach.
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>> like in the head and in the belly and stomach. >> reporter: critics say this video shows dacey, who has a low iq, being manipulated into giving a false confession. >> looking at the interrogation tape of brendan dacey, what leaps out to you? >> cognitively impaired, naive young man, led by intelligent, well-trained adults, using a manipulative set off techniques to try to get him to reveal details or adopt a storyline. suggested to him. >> am i going to be at school before school ends? >> probably not. >> reporter: but the judge ruled that the confession was given freely and willingly so it was allowed into evidence during dacey's trial. >> you feel confident what we're seeing is a legitimate confession? >> yes, i would invite any of your viewers to read the entire transcript.. and before again buying what is spoonfed them.
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during his trial brandon said he made it all up, he was sentenced to life in prison. >> we the jury find the defendant brendan r. dayec guilty -- >> reporter: while so many people across the country are be obsessed with this story. >> how many times have you been here? >> ree. >> reporter: this woman has taken it to the next level. >> they're okay letting you rummage through the file? >> yes, you have to make apoint. >> mcbride has become a sort of freelance gumshoe. >> there's so much more that didn't even get through the funnel of the documentary. >> reporter: combing through the court documents herself. she drove us around mishicot, wisconsin. >> the closer you get to the area where the averys actually live, the more likely people are to say, we're certain they're guilty. >> people did not want to speak
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and i feel sorry for teresa halbach's family who have to live through this story yet again. the real victim here is almost forgotten in the media hype. >> reporter: a sentiment we heard echoed when we visited man eded manitowoc's county sheriff. >> a decade later you have no concern some of your people might have done something inappropriate with the evidence? >> no. i do not.. >> zero? >> zero. >> reporter: in fact, the sheriff revealed t t us that one of the deputies who found teresa halbach's key in steven avery's bedroom, then patrol sergeant colburn, now has a new position. >> he handles our evidence here and our investigative division. >> reporter: here's how former avery defense attorney dean strang responded when we told him what we'd heard. perhaps the strangest twist in this whole saga is three years after the trial, prosecutor ken
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>> serial ction erxter. a third woman saying he sent inappropriate messages. >> reporter: he pled no contest after the associated press unearthed racy texts kratz had sent to a domestic violence abuse victim. >> i hope to regain the trust of the crime victims community. >> reporter: he says hisis problems stemmed f fm a drug dedendency. >> being the center of attention for 18 months every day, being in the limelight. i started medicating. >> reporter: he lost his wife and h job. but now, five years later, he says he is sober and running a business as a defense attorney. although he says his business has now dried up because of the bad publicity from "making a murderer." >> if this costs me my private law practice, i'll take that trade. because i know i did the right thing. >> reporter: kratz macy be embattled but prominent voices are coming to his side including
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>> steven avery is the killer. the evidence showing his guilt, the overwhelming evidence, is left out of the netflix documentary. >> jimmy: steven avery and brendan are fighting back hard. avery has a new attorney with a history of freeing the wrongly convicted. dacey is waiting on a decision from a federal judge that could allow a new trial. it's easy to walk away from the documentary thinking they may not have done it. >> i think i had a good life before all the trouble started. >> reporter: but the more time i spent on the ground in wisconsin with people like jessica mcbride -- >> should we go to the high school where brendan went to school? >> reporter: the more is. whatever conclusion you land on, you really have to get comfortable with some very uncomfortable facts. for example, if he did it -- >> you have to swallow the fact that everything was going right in his life and yet at the moment he was about to successfully sue law enforcement, was going to do something that would bring the full weight of law enforcement down upon him?
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so what the documentary did is it focused on the inconvenient facts that are weird for the law enforcement authorities. and i think they're legitimate questions. >> reporter: in the end, i left wisconsin more confused than when i arrived. >> does any part of you suspect that he may, in fact, be guilty? >> a big part of me worriri that he might be guilty. and even bger par of me says, you know, if convicting people on maybe's or possibly's was how the system worked, that's great, we could sp each other on the back and go out for a beer. but that's not how the system's supposed to work. >> reporter: in the end avery's former defense attorney and the makers of "making a murderer" say this case may remain a mystery. and a bitterly contested mystery at that. we should say that we reached out to the hallbach family for comment about "making a murderer" and they declined. they told our local station "we
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individuals and corporations continue to create entertainment and to seek profits from our loss." coming up on "nightline," a different kind of controversy, the uproar over race and the oscars. what will smith and spike lee are telling abc news tonight. "beth" by kiss beth, i hear you calling... but i can't come home right now... me and the boys are playing... ... all night text beth, what can i do... [siri:] message. pick up milk. oh, right. milk. introducing the newly redesigned passat. from volkswagen. (rayayi'd like to see more of the old ladydy i'd like to see her go back to her more you know social side.
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get outttthere. i would have liked you anyway finally tonight we're going
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controversy rocking the oscars. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> there's a regressive slide toward separatism, towards racial and religious disharmo that's not the hollywood that i want to leave behind. >> reporter: hollywood heavyweight will smith speaking out as stars across tinseltown lambast the monochromic class of oscar nominees for a second year. >> talent is everywhere but opportunity isn't. >> reporter: many thought idris elba deserved an oscar nod for his role. >> in my opinion haven't done enough to nurture a talent -- >> reporter: george clooney won for "syriana," speaking out in support of diversity. i think african-americans have a real fair point, that the industry isn't representing them well enough. >> every ten years, we get
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then when it happens, the players, hollywood's finally turned around, look how much we've made progress. then a drought for nine years. >> reporter: director spike lee says even though he's skippin the glittery night in protest he's not calling for boycott. he believes the problem goes deeper than awards shows. >> we're not in the room in these green light meetings. until that happens, we'll continue to have these stories about the lack of diversity at the oscars. >> reporter: and yet lee says the message transcends hollywood. >> you're going to make more money if your product and your workforce reflects the diversity of this great country. let's go to the bottom line. if you don't chchge, you're going to lose money. >> reporter: fornightline" i'm juju chang in new york. >> we'll see more of juju's interview with spike lee in a few weeks talking about his new documentary "michael jackson's
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tune into gma tomorrow for the full exclusive interview with will smith. as always we're online on our "nightline" facebook page and abcnews.com. thank you for watching. >> announcer: the following is a paid presentation for luminess air. take a look at this blemish. now you see it. now you don't. >> it is amazing. >> announcer: do you see this age spot? don't blink. it's gone like magic. >> luminess is stupendous. >> announcer: watch this redness disappear at t t touch of a button. >> people have said to me, "you look amazing.
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>> people ask me if i've had a
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